Match Reports - 11th July 2015

County Division 4 North – Steeple Langford 1st XI v Bishops Waltham 2nd XI

Steeple Langford 1st XI poor form continued with a 127 run home defeat against Bishops Waltham 2nd XI. Electing to bat first, Bishops Waltham were soon in trouble at 9 for 3 after excellent bowling from Gary Smith and Nick Partridge. After some early scares Corder (73) and Budd (50) then got their eye in on a hard flat track to put on 126 for the 4th wicket. Once this partnership ended wickets then fell at regular intervals with only Bradley (32*) making a significant contribution and the innings ended on 215 for 9. Smith ended with a fine 4 for 35 and Chris Mundy chipped in with 3 for 46. At tea the home team felt confident of chasing this down but things changed dramatically within the first 7 overs with the batsmen seemingly on a suicide mission to leave Steeple Langford on a catastrophic 7 for 6. Martin Grearson (27) and Gary Smith (36) looked very comfortable in putting on 57 to try and bring some element of respectability to the score but once they were out the innings faded to a paltry 88 all out, Bradley being the pick of the bowlers taking 5 for 10. If Langford want to maintain their promotion push then they need to rediscover their batting form very quickly indeed.

STEEPLE LANGFORD II v GREAT DURNFORD

For the second week running Rob Emm won the toss and elected to field on what looked a dodgy wicket. With Durnford soon on 45 for 3 this appeared to be a good decision but the home team’s batsmen grew into the innings and eventually amassed 272 all out thanks to a combination of good batting, short boundaries and a couple of costly dropped catches. That said there were some good cameos from the Langford players: Rob Emm actually diving low to leg to snaffle a leg glance; Darren Harvey leaping salmon like at Gully to take a great catch; Jamie Stafford using every inch of his six foot something to take one in his fingertips; and, Dave Haugh’s first ball being reminiscent of Shane Warne to Mike Gatting as the batsman left a wide one only to find it spinning back extravagantly to hit off stump. The pick of the bowlers were Raj Kumar at the start of the innings (3 for 38) and Matt Pieterse again mopping up the tail at the end (4 for 42).

The Langford response to the chase never really got going as wickets fell at regular intervals. Chris Miles looked to drop anchor and hold up one end in what could be described as either a very patient or downright boring innings depending on the point of view. He was eventually out for 27 having ticked along at an average of a run an over. Otherwise only young Matt Dhanji (16), the not so young Rob Emm (11) and extras (14) managed double figures with Langford eventually being all out for just 90. Pick of the Durnford bowlers was Ambrose who swung the ball prodigiously ending with excellent figures of 6 wickets for just 6 runs.

So Langford follow up last week’s excellent win with a thumping defeat and in doing so continue the season’s erratic form. One bright side though – at least the second team scored more runs than the first team!